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ACARS System

Airborne System

SATCOM
VHF
HF
Service Provider

Airline Operations
Satellite

Airborne System

HF Station RGS
SATCOM (VHF)
Station HF Station

RGS FEP
(VHF)
RGS
FEP (VHF)

Airline Airline
Satellite

Airborne System
Ground System

HF Station RGS
SATCOM (VHF)
Station HF Station

RGS FEP
(VHF)
RGS
FEP (VHF)

Airline Airline
Ground System
• Connects the Airline to the Aircraft
- Sends messages to the aircraft “Uplinks”
- Receives messages form aircraft “Downlinks”
• Routes messages to and from the airlines
• Ground System is comprised of various
message-handling networks referred to as
Service Providers.
Service Providers
(ARINC, SITA, AVICOM, etc.)

• Operate VHF Remote Ground Stations (RGS),


HF Ground Stations, Satellite Ground Stations,
Front End Processors (FEP)
• Routes messages to correct address
• Geographically oriented and operate on specific
VHF frequencies
Remote Ground Stations
(RGS)

• Provide VHF Communications Link which


exchanges messages with the aircraft.
• Downlinks received from aircraft are sent to the
Front End Processors.
• Identify themselves every 2 minutes by
transmitting an identification message
(Squitter).
Front End Processors
(FEP)
• Transfers messages between the Remote
Ground Stations and the airline computers.
• Routes messages to correct location by
matching information in the downlink to a list of
airline command and control computer
addresses.
• Maintains a list of which aircraft are being
served by a particular RGS to that uplinks can
be sent to an aircraft from the correct radio
transmitter.
Service Provider Frequencies

" ARINC (United States, Canada and Mexico)


Base = 131.550 MHz
2nd = 130.025 MHz

" SITA (Europe, Asia, South America)


Base = 131.725 MHz
2nd = 131.525 MHz Europe

" MASCOM (Malaysia) Base = 131.725 MHz


" AVICOM (Japan) Base = 131.450 MHz
" Advantus (Canada) Base = 131.475 MHz
" AeroThai (Thailand) Base = 131.575 MHz
Satellite

Airborne System

HF Station RGS
SATCOM (VHF)
Station HF Station

RGS FEP
(VHF)
RGS
FEP (VHF)

Airline Airline
Airline Operations
Airline Operations
Maintenance

Flight Ops

Downlinks from the aircraft are delivered to the


airline's host processor. This processor routes
messages to the correct departments within the
airline. Passenger
Service
Messages originating within the airline are sent to
the host processor which checks for errors,
converts the message to the correct format, and
passes it to the Service Provider which routes it
to the aircraft via the correct RGS.
ACARS Communication
Airborne System

SATCOM
VHF
HF

Service Provider
Range
(Nautical Miles)
• VHF Communication is Line
Of Sight

• Graph Shows Distance


200 240 Between Aircraft and Ground
200 Station.
160
• Outside of This Range,
110
100 ACARS will Be Typically In
No Communication, Unless
Alternate Datalink (SATCOM
or HF) is Used
50
39 • When In No Communication,
ACARS will Save Messages,
and Transmit Once A/C
10 20 30 40 comes in Range
Aircraft Altitude (Thousand Feet)
VHF Station
.DX-HAM
N2463AA

Aircraft Registration Number identifies


the intended destination of an uplink message

Uplink to
N2463AA

VHF Station
Weather Request Demonstration
Satellite

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite
The flight crew has requested
weather information through the
ACARS resulting in a downlink

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite
Ground Station receives the
Downlink and forwards it to the
Service Provider

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

The Service Provider’s processors


access the requested information
and send an Uplink response to the
Ground Station.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

The Ground Station transmits the


Uplink response to the aircraft

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Demonstration of Airlines request for
Satellite
Position Report

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

An Airline wants to know the location


of one of their aircraft and request a
position report

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

Routing tables indicate that the aircraft


is currently communicating with another
Service Providers network.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

The active Service Provider sends the


uplink request to the correct Ground
Station.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

The Ground Station transmits the


uplink request.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

The Airborne System accesses the position


information and sends a Downlink

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

Ground Station sends Downlink to the


active Service Provider.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

Service Provider sends an


acknowledgement (ACK) reply

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

ACK is transmitted by the Ground Station

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

Active Service Provider forwards the


downlink to the home Service Provider.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

Home Service Provider forwards the


downlink report to the Airline.

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline
Satellite

HF Station VHF
SATCOM Station
Station HF Station
Service
Provider

VHF Service FEP


Station Provider
VHF
FEP Station

Airline Airline